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Poster: reviewr Date: Feb 7, 2011 7:43pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Chemicals

I recently finished reading the post about Dick Latvala, which I really enjoyed. I was somewhat surprised to learn about his heavy chemical use. It made me wonder if the cliche about Dead Heads always being on drugs is correct.
I first "got on the bus" in my mid teens when I smoked a liitle pot. In my late teens I smoked LOTS of pot, took enough LSD/mushrooms to know, and had a little coke. Now in my 40s all that is gone, but I drink a lot (not a whole lot, but more than when pot was in my life). I'm into the Dead more than ever, and I think maybe that old psychedelic refernce point is still a live and well.
I wonder if any one out there to truely sober, and if yes, where you sober when "you got on the bus".
In short - is the myth real: are all Dead Heads (I don't like that phrase) on drugs?

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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Feb 8, 2011 7:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

Call me the 5 CEP outlier, but I have never smoked or taken anything that was not prescribed. The drug of choice was Molson Golden Ale or Schlitz - easy and cheap for a high school kid in the Philadelphia area. There was just never any appeal for anything other than a beer buzz.

I digress (as I am wont to do) but at my 30th High School reunion this past summer, a bunch of us were all together afterwards yukking it up. One of the guys mentioned to me that what he remembered me as was a good student, All state wrestler and not much of a partier. I mean, I went to all the parties, but beyond a couple of beers that was it. We got to talking about that specific slice of High School life (partying) and it boiled down to this. In 7th grade I went to wrestling camp at the Naval Academy and knew right at that moment that that was where I wanted to go to school and what I wanted to do with my life. As such, doing what it took to get there became my focus and goal. I remember getting my admissions application package in 9th grade. The catalog had a page of things to do - GPA, athletics, extra curricular activities, community involvement, SAT/ACT minimums, etc. There was also a page of things "Not to do". I immediately opted to "Do" the things on the first page, and "Not Do" the things on the other. It really was that easy.

Now as to the Grateful Dead and the bus. Am I the only Head who never smoked or dosed? I doubt it, but I'm pretty sure I am in the minority. Others in related posts have implied (or stated) that if you didn't smoke, or dose or otherwise chemically alter your state of being then there is no possible way you could be 'on the bus' and no possible way you could "get it". As if doing so was some requisite rite of passage to be included in the for real, no shit, "On the bus" club. I respectfully disagree. I enjoy the music, I enjoy the scene and my degree of participation in certain parts of the scene. And I certainly don't need to live up to someone else's definition or expectation of what it means to them to be "On the bus".

So, after all that, I am a square, geeky, all state, AAU Junior Olympic regional wrestling champion, retired submarine officer - who immensely likes and enjoys the Grateful Dead. (Apologies to Rob for the split infinitive. And Mrs. Wamsley, my 4th grade English teacher)

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Feb 8, 2011 11:17am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

Schlitz or Schmidt's Philly boy?

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Feb 8, 2011 11:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

Er, Rolling Rock.

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Feb 8, 2011 11:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

Well that is from PA although Schmidt's was a beer brewed in Philly. I cringe when i think about the potential water sources used for brewing a local beer in Philly in the 70s.

When i was in college we used to drink another PA beer that only came in returnable bottles and cost about as much as the bottle deposit. It was called Yeungling. I wonder if anyone can get that beer anymore........

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Feb 8, 2011 6:48pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

Oh indeed we can get Yuengling!

Yes, the water has always been questionable. People still tell me not to drink the tap water, but I've been drinking it since I moved here in 1986 and won't stop now. The joke is that you used to have to *chew* the water here ...

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Poster: DeadRed1971 Date: Feb 9, 2011 4:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

You guys and gals up in PA should try some of the brews from Stoudt's, along the turnpike part way between Lancaster and Reading.

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Poster: Finster Baby Date: Feb 8, 2011 12:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

Really? You don't know about Yuengling?? Not being a smart ass, but do you no longer drink??

Yuengling has been thee trendy beer for at least the last 5 or 6 years. along the lines of what Coors Light or corona used to be for yuppies back in the day. I'm pretty sure this trend extends beyond the Philly region, but perhaps it doesn't.

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Feb 8, 2011 12:39pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

I was the one being a smart ass. Its up and down the east coast. They actually make the stuff in two other sites now including one in Florida. I have a friend who owns a high end beer store here in the ATL and he refers to it as the best available "mass produced" beer. No where near bud or miller but hardly the stuff brewed for PA coal miners.

The had a great story about it on NPR a few weeks ago. 6th generation family owned. The next generation is all female. Apparently the most common question on brewery tours in Pottsville, is whether they are married yet.

My inlaws are in NJ and its their favorite beer. Thats okay because they used to drink some real crap and now i know when i visit the beer will be quaffable.

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Poster: Finster Baby Date: Feb 8, 2011 1:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

Damn....you know more about it than I do....

Smart Ass!! :)

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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Feb 8, 2011 2:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

Schlitz was cheaper. Schmidt's had the cool looking crown thingie on it so it had to be more expensive.

Both were brewed using water from the Schuylkill River so they had to be ass nasty.

Rolling Rock was what the rich kids drank.........

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Feb 8, 2011 3:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

I always thought Schlitz was from Milwaukee. Regardless I don't miss either.

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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Feb 9, 2011 7:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

>I always thought Schlitz was from Milwaukee. Regardless I don't miss either.

Wasn't their plug "The beer that made Milwaukee famous"?

Famous for shitty high school beer?

This post was modified by Mandojammer on 2011-02-09 15:22:52

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Feb 8, 2011 6:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

>brewed using water from the Schuylkill River so they had to be ass nasty.

In the 80's we called it the petroleum-based river.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Feb 8, 2011 3:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

Haffenreffer. More bang for the buck and you got to collect the rebus tops.

http://www.falstaffbrewing.com/haffenreffer.htm

I had friends that worked at the old DAP (Durham Athletic Park - site of Bull Durham file) and they counted cups. So for a $2 ticket and a $3 initial cup, you could drink away a spring/summers' night to single A ball. What did they serve? The Schiltz Malt Liguor Bull (of course). The simple pleasures...

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Poster: njbmxrider Date: Feb 8, 2011 2:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

what about yuengling!?

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Poster: DeadRed1971 Date: Feb 9, 2011 3:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

I've heard of that one:

http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/679770/

This post was modified by DeadRed1971 on 2011-02-09 23:58:43

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Feb 9, 2011 4:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

A classic!!

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Feb 8, 2011 10:06am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

What split infinitive?

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Feb 8, 2011 11:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

I think the grammatical infelicity Namor was referring to was:

"who immensely likes and enjoys the Grateful Dead"

which I think should have been:

"who likes and enjoys the Grateful Dead immensely"

I just didn't want to be a smartass - I have enough trouble as it is...

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Feb 8, 2011 6:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

My getting on the bus is not a direct route. I listened to shows on tape starting around 1984, but didn't actually make it to one until 1990 and only went to a few. I never tried LSD or shrooms in my life and by the time i started listening to tapes all i really did was drink beer. Was never a huge fan of pot and pretty much gave up on it in high school. At the shows i went to i never did anything but have a few beers in the parking lot before and after the show. By my last show in 1994 I went with my wife who was probably pregnant at the time (we were trying...man i loved those we are trying times!!) so I am not even sure there was a lot of drinking going on. I went to shows to have fun with friends and listen to the music. Worked for me.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Feb 8, 2011 9:36am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

I put on the dirty boots and signed up for the whole ride. It's the way I was brought into the scene and that's the way I liked it.
And I paid a high price. Starting school, career 5 years late and discovering that the fine instrument that is my brain was not as precise as before. A few dead, a few permanently lost, but most of that crew has a marriage and a mortgage.

I wouldn't last a day in that lifestyle today. "It's 6:00. I have to make dinner."
I spend more time on dental hygiene in a week then I did in '89.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Feb 8, 2011 10:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

LOL. That's right, age will take care of most such inclinations ... anything stronger than an occasional glass of wine or two, and I'd be nonfunctional.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 8, 2011 4:55am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

My experience in the 70s was everyone smoked some weed, BUT none of us smoked everyday, eg. We all continued at school, jobs, marriage, and thus couldn't be the "typical stereotype". I know only a couple, of 100s, that still smoke today.

BTW, that was one reason I reacted so strongly to the story about Dick--I do not consider that he had "functional" life. No one I knew would be classified as anything but in need of desperate help if they stayed up all night smoking...seriously, alone? Repeatedly? Just because he loved our band doesn't excuse it. That's 12 hrs a day, doing nothing but being high, and disengaged from anyone (hdphones). Judgmental, eh?

I don't do "anything" now, but I used to love to drink...but not at DEAD shows.

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Poster: skuzzlebutt Date: Feb 8, 2011 9:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

I share at least some of your thoughts on Dick, Will. If I had a brother, spouse, or close friend that was in the same shape that (by all accounts) Latvala was in, I'd intervene no matter how good he was at his job. Being judgmental isn't always a bad thing.

I do think all of us owe the guy a debt for getting the DP project up and running (and thus proving that there was a thriving market for a steady stream of small-scale archival releases), and I do admire him on a certain level for turning what for most us is a hobby into his life's work. But in other ways, I see him almost as a tragic fluke: just a Deadhead with a substance abuse problem who got incredibly lucky (right places, times, connections, etc). I don't see anything especially unique or impressive about being able to spout off at length about this or that show despite being in an almost chronic semi-stupor.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 8, 2011 10:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

Thx, SB; I know I come off as a patronizing, high and mighty "do-gooder" at times, and I appreciate the vote of support. For those that don't see it for what it really is, obviously, I am as insecure as the next guy, struggling with the same old concerns we all have, esp since the 60s, when self medication became so much more of an issue (can we help? what's the best approach? hmmm, I have the same problem, don't I? etc, etc, etc.). And, being a father has only made it that much more "close to home".

You wouldn't believe the nasty drug scene my three boys were exposed to over the past 15 yrs as they grew through their teens. As I have helped them, and some friends of theirs that really struggled with it (no deaths, thankfully), it's reminded me of those days in the 70s when I was going thru it, and did lose some close friends (and the guilt over thinking you shud've done something, knowing it would've been resisted, blah, blah, blah...we've all been there).

No easy answers, eh?

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Feb 8, 2011 6:29am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

I believe there is a real and deliberate connection between the psychedelic experience and the GD's music. The essential contours of an acid trip and a dead show are obviously parallel. Things gradually get stranger, your perception of reality dissolves and reaches a peak where conventional modes of understanding disappear, then you gradually reintegrate with conventional reality but with new understanding and a feeling of emotional catharsis from completing the journey.

Dead concerts have almost always, even prior to the era of standardized drums/space, used this pattern as a foundation. The freest, most improvisatory section of the show in the middle of the second set maps onto the period of maximum change in perception, with the most unconventional musical material corresponding to the perceptual distortions of a psychedelic.

This is both a consequence of the acid-soaked evolutionary origins and path of the band, and a deliberate conscious choice of model for the band itself. Back in the touring days, it was common to try to take a dose at the right moment so you would peak for the middle of 2nd set, and the Jerry ballad slot would arrive right when you were starting to come down and would help ease you back into reality.

The music stands on its own as brilliant music, and this narrative pattern is compatible with non-psychedelic stories, too, because the "trip" is itself a metaphor of the archetypal idea of leaving your home and going on a voyage to a strange and magical place, then returning safe. I know plenty of non-users who enjoy the GD, but in general the really fanatical and deadicated seem to share the experience of having had a positive experience of psychospiritual transformation from the combination of the gd and hallucinogens.

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Feb 9, 2011 2:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

Well the BAND certainly did and anyone who wants to pretend otherwise is kidding themselves

We've all known or known of people that have wrecked their lives with substance abuse the BIGGEST one being alchohol I bet. I grew up in the repression of the Reagan era and things wren't uptight then as they are apparently now and no I wasnt one of those a-hole jock touch heads.

To each their own but for anyone to pretend that drugs werent a part of the culture and scene of this band is rewriting history. And of course not everyone was and of course not everyone that did still is but no offense to some good friends here but I can't imagine experiencing the band having NEVER taken psychedelics

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Feb 8, 2011 7:55am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

I am a Deadhead who doesn't smoke pot, and Tiki fan who doesn't drink booze .
Almost everyone I have met thinks I am on drugs ( especially acid ) ! Most of the friends I have who did do drugs would say "... you don't need it , you're weird enough without it ". I took from Frank Zappa , his mistrust of drugs ("LSD came from the CIA") , from him I got the suspicion that drugs were just an update of the martini . My interest in ,popular at the time, eastern mysticism, took me to the actual sources of Hinduism, and Buddhism that were anti drug .
I also watched my friends who partake , become dull, , made me wonder if this was really a good thing . I don't enjoy the buzz of alcohol, I feel less aware . At my early Dead shows, I am sure I was getting a bit of a contact high ( clouds of pot smoke) and the sound DID get better as the concert went on. , I suspect I would like it more than booze , sure as hell rather be around a bunch of potheads , than a bunch of drunks !
Maybe there is some " deeper" aspect of the Dead that I fail to attain, because I didn't take acid, but It does make me a little more aware of the band's failings, that some of it's more starry eyed worshipers , yet still LOVE the music , warts and all .
No, you don't have to take , of have taken drugs , to love this music , just a heart that is open, and a mind that will let the heart have it's way .

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Feb 8, 2011 10:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

>At my early Dead shows, I am sure I was getting a bit of a contact high ( clouds of pot smoke

Yeah ... people can say they never dropped acid, but you really can't say you never smoked pot if you ever went to a Grateful Dead show.

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Feb 8, 2011 10:14am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

The only way you "didn't inhale", was if you didn't breath ...

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Feb 8, 2011 10:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

Exactly ... this was my only scruple in taking my teenager to see Furthur this summer. I felt I was not only, in effect, condoning the various practices we observed all around us, I was actually getting him stoned.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Feb 8, 2011 10:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

http://www.archive.org/post/313315/why-do-you-bring-small-children-to-a-show

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Feb 8, 2011 10:45am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

Oh, yeah, I remember. I totally agreed. My kid was 17, not little. Still, in a way maybe that's worse, regarding the drugs at least ... there was definitely no way to avoid a contact buzz.

I am glad I was way out of this scene by the time it becamse so crazed, in the nineties. My era, or at least my friends, were mellow ... yes, people took various substances, but this was normal, *everyone* puffed this or that or took a hit of something that was passed around - but nobody acted bad - a wild and crazy night ended at the Pancake House at 3 a.m., you know? When we really felt nuts we all went back to someone's house and made a big pot of coffee. I think we were square hippies, or hippy squares.
I could get all political about it :) I blame Ronald Reagan. We did not believe we were being radicals or rebels for smoking a little something, it was the norm. It was barely illegal. Later it stopped being the norm, and in reaction college kids went crazy.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 8, 2011 12:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

For us it was JackintheBox. I know, I know, but it was the only one predictably open, and Ihop/Dennys req'd going in, interacting, etc....I can still recall thinking that "this jumbo jack is the best thing I've ever tasted; it's better than sex AND the DEAD put together!"

Yes, I was that hungry. Recall we'd go get in line at 3 pm; there was NO scene on the street outside Winterland. You couldn't get any food originally, unless you went to the bar (there was in inside at some pt? Hmm, not sure, but didn't have money either), which we couldn't have, as kids (< 21).

We were STARVING at 1 am while driving home...and yes, we stopped at Jack's before sex, before more drugs, before any more music.

Sad?

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Feb 8, 2011 3:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

Familiar. Sad was having to drive back to Palo Alto with the windows wide open trying to stay awake. :)

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Poster: BataviaSparky Date: Feb 7, 2011 8:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

Well, I for one can attest to the fact that of the dozens of folks who I knew from my town who were or are into the dead, and surrounding towns, every single one of them AT LEAST smoked weed. 90% had AT LEAST tried LSD and/or mushrooms (90% of those were regular users during their tenures as acting Heads of Dead). 75% were drinkers, though only 25% were heavy drinkers.

So all that was 25+ years ago. I know most every one has put it down. The ones who have not are hardcore, big time hardcore. Junkies mostly, seems like the junk is the holy grail of drug abuse. Most of my sizable crew went through periods where drug use really screwed up their lives. I have lost several good friends to drugs, OD's, suicides, several vehicle fatalities.

So I cannot stand aloof and scoff at the notion. We were all messed up.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Feb 8, 2011 7:25am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Chemicals

Hash never agreed with me, the couple of times I tried it, it made me feel very ill - I used to smoke unfiltered cigarettes so it wasn't just the act of smoking; I reckon I must have been allergic to the stuff. Anyway I never took it up as a hobby. I've also never tried psychedelics of any kind and have never truly felt inclined to. At all of the handful of Grateful Dead shows I attended I was totally sober and happy just to enjoy the music. My drugs of choice, as they have been over these many years, are caffeine and alcohol and that does just fine for me.